When designing a legal site, it's important to know what your user is looking for. Avoid common mistakes by following these helpful tips. By Sheyna Webster
Legal websites have a tendency to be dry and run-of-the-mill. But, law firms aren’t all the same. If you want your legal business to stand out among the rest, your website should be sleek and classy as well as user-friendly, something many legal firms haven’t implemented in their online strategy. It’s important to always keep the user in mind when creating a website. For lawyers, their potential clients are visiting their site, and they need to keep them there. To make sure your clients aren’t clicking and leaving, we’ve got a few tips to help you design a page they’ll stay on:
Search results are driven by good content, and users want it, too. Having compelling content and significant calls to action on all your pages is important to the users experience and getting your page noticed by search engines. You can get creative with your content and add videos, testimonials, Q&As, podcasts and anything else that might interest your clients and help you stand out from the typical legal website. Make sure you voice is similar throughout the site, and personal. Clients don’t want to feel like they’re reading a manual- put some personality and personal story into your attorney bios and anywhere else you feel it’s appropriate.
Homepages can easily become overwhelmed with a multitude of images or slideshows. Try telling your law firm’s story with one image. Whether it’s photos of your actual attorneys or a symbolic stock photo, make sure users can tell exactly what your intent is when they first visit your page. It’s also important to deter from any homepage clutter- including photos, words and sidebars. Try to keep it as simple as possible for the user. When designing and developing your site, be consistently asking “is this necessary?” and put yourself in your client’s shoes.
All too often, attorney websites somehow hide their contact information. The most important part of your website is giving your potential clients easy ways to get ahold of you for questions, concerns and consultations. If your phone number and address are hidden, users won’t take the time to find it. Have you number listed at the top of your homepage, and have a contact form on every page where it makes sense. In the least, have a call to action on every page that entices customers into contacting you, and link it to your “contact us” page. Your contact page should include your number, address and an email form to fill out so you can reach out to the client.
In web design, “above the fold” means everything on the homepage before the user has to scroll down. More often than not, users will not scroll to the bottom of web pages, and look for most of their information up top. So, make your webpages top heavy. Not so much that it looks overdone, but enough to where all necessary and important information is right at your users eye-level.
When designing your legal site, keep these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to create a unqiue, user-friendly space.